ONC, Sequoia Project extend interoperability collaboration

The public-private partnership has been re-upped for another year as Sequoia continues to help implement and build out community support for TEFCA.
By Mike Miliard
11:49 AM
ONC, Sequoia Project extend interoperability collaboration

The Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT will continue to work with the Sequoia Project to roll out the Trusted Exchange Framework and Common Agreement (TEFCA) for another year, after securing $1.1 million of new funding for the interoperability effort.

WHY IT MATTERS

ONC selected the Sequoia Project to serve as recognized coordinating entity for TEFCA implementation in September 2019, tasking the private-sector group with developing, updating, implementing and maintaining the common agreement parts of the interoperability framework.

As recognized coordinating entity (RCE), Sequoia is in charge of aspects such as its common agreement and Qualified Health Information Network (QHIN) and the technical framework of TEFCA, thus ensuring transparency and building broad industry engagement.

Since then, Sequoia says it has engaged more than 2,000 stakeholders across more than two-dozen meetings as it continues work on drafting new terms and conditions for TEFCA and the technical framework for qualified health information networks.

It has built out a Common Agreement Work Group, which began work this past month, and will send a first draft of the common agreement to ONC this summer.

THE LARGER TREND

TEFCA sets forth a series of principles to establish and broaden exchange of electronic health information across a varying array of health information networks nationwide.

Billed by ONC as a "single ‘on-ramp’ to nationwide connectivity," it is designed to scale data exchange across the U.S. to help ensure that providers, payers, consumers and other stakeholders have secure access to electronic health information.

ON THE RECORD

“The success of TEFCA depends on the support of the community,” said Mariann Yeager, CEO of the Sequoia Project. “By engaging stakeholders throughout the development process, we’re engendering public trust, collaborating on solutions and instilling a sense of ownership for potential future QHINs.

“With ONC’s support, the vision for a network-of-networks is moving closer to a reality, and the additional funding for a second year will allow us to continue this work at a rigorous pace,” she added. “We look forward to a growing level of public stakeholder feedback and engagement as we enter a pivotal year in advancing and preparing for implementation of nationwide interoperable health information sharing under TEFCA.”

Twitter: @MikeMiliardHITN
Email the writer: mike.miliard@himssmedia.com

Healthcare IT News is a publication of HIMSS Media.

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